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Projecting Biden’s Supreme Court picks

Kevin Daley of the Washington Free Beacon speculates about likely U.S. Supreme Court nominees in a Joe Biden presidential administration.

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, has pledged to appoint the first African-American woman to the Supreme Court if he prevails in November.

Biden’s promise is a nod to the black voters who revived his once-flailing presidential campaign. …

… There are two broad groups Biden might select from, the first including sitting judges on federal and state courts, the second with more academic backgrounds. The leftwing group Demand Justice, which is pressing Biden to release a shortlist of potential nominees, has released its own list, which is heavy on academics and cause lawyers. A Washington Free Beacon analysis found the most likely candidates are U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, and U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, with Stacey Abrams as a possible wildcard pick. …

… If elected, Biden will have to balance three competing problems when selecting a nominee: mounting pressure from the left to pick a candidate with varied occupational experiences, a possible Republican majority in the Senate, and the prospect of an expansive search.

Demand Justice is pressing Biden to pick judicial candidates with civil rights or consumer protection experience, and the group’s list includes black professor Michelle Alexander of Union Theological Seminary, best known as the author of a popular, controversial book on incarceration, and NAACP Legal Defense Fund president Sherrilyn Ifill. …

… If Republicans retain control of the Senate, Biden will also have to find a candidate palatable to a caucus that proved unyielding when former president Barack Obama tried to replace the late justice Antonin Scalia. Indeed, the GOP ran a two-year blockade on judicial confirmations in the waning years of the Obama administration, leaving over 100 vacancies for Trump to fill.

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Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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